14 civilians killed by Niger soldiers mistaking them for militants

Niger soldiers on flatbed truck in Diffa Niger soldiers on flatbed truck in Diffa Huong Ly, BBC

26 July 2017
14 civilians from Niger and Nigeria were killed by soldiers after having been wrongly identified as members of the Islamist group Boko Haram.

On July 5, in the afternoon, 14 civilians (two were from Niger, the rest from Nigeria) were mistaken for militants and killed by Nigerien soldiers not far from the village of Abadam, in the Diffa region, in the south-east of Niger. There are conflicting reports about the event. According to the news agency Reuters, militaries were patrolling a militarily restricted zone when they opened fire on some farmers, mistaking them for members of Boko Haram. This Islamic extremist group, based in the northeast of Nigeria, often carries out cross-border attacks in Niger, especially in the Diffa region. But according to Agence France Presse (AFP) news agency, the civilians were most likely killed by an air strike, after soldiers wrongly identified them.

The death toll was confirmed by Yahaya Godi, the General Secretary of Diffa. He added that the area around Abadam has been prohibited for a very long time, so it's not clear why the 14 civilians were there. According to a witness, farmers had just finished eating before being killed. The Niger army officials did not comment on the event.

The fight between Niger and Boko Haram started in 2015. Despite the support from Chadian troops and the collaboration with Nigeria, the Nigerien army has been unable to put a stop to attacks committed by the terrorist group.

 

To know more, please read:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-niger-security-idUSKBN19R1QB
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-40526359
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/911762/niger-air-strike-kills-14-civilians-mistaken-for-jihadists
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-13809501
https://www.crisisgroup.org/africa/west-africa/niger/245-niger-and-boko-haram-beyond-counter-insurgency

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